Summer is here and so is the heat, humidity, and sweating! Questions have been pouring into the office about maintaining a healthy turf during the “dog days” of summer. Having a healthy lawn helps to combat issues of disease, insects, weeds, and moss.
To achieve healthy turf grass, it is imperative to maintain the right growing conditions. Consider factors such as soil fertility, soil drainage, sunlight, and water stress. These combined factors will certainly influence the appearance of the turf over time.
It is best to plant grass species suited for this area. Turf grasses require full sun to thrive. Of course, some grass species tolerate shady conditions but will require more care and maintenance. Apply lawn fertilizers based on soil testing. Soil test kits may be purchased here at the Extension Office. It is certainly worth the fifteen-dollar investment to have your soil tested because lawns thrive when proper nutrients are available for optimal growth. Lawns grow best with soil pH readings between 6.0 and 6.5.
A mowing height of two to three inches is recommended for growth of healthy turf. Limit cutting to one-third of the grass height at each mowing. It is always good practice to keep your lawnmower blades sharp. A clean cut could mean the difference between a healthy lawn and one that is diseased. During periods of dry or hot weather, mow higher.
Last but certainly not least, keep your lawn well-hydrated but do not apply more than one-half inch of water at a time. You should plan to water three or four times per week with each watering being between one-quarter and one-half inch. Water in the morning as this allows the grass to dry more quickly.
These basic turfgrass facts can assist you in having the greenest, lushest lawn in your neighborhood. If you have any questions about maintaining a healthy lawn, please do not hesitate to call me at 901-752-1207. I will be happy to assist you. Finally, stay safe and cool out there!
Photo credits: UTExtension; Univ. of Mn; PopMechanics